Walk to earn rewards with new app in Southwark

Gleniffer Braes Country Park
Visiting places such as Gleniffer Braes Country Park in Renfrewshire can earn walkers points with the BetterPoints app. Photo: Jim Cornall

Southwark Council has launched a new app encouraging more people to walk, cycle, run or use public transport, as part of its Streets for People initiative.

BetterPoints Southwark encourages users to record their travel with the free app and rewards users with points that can be spent at participating businesses or donated to charity. Over the coming weeks, the council will be contacting local businesses and encouraging them to get involved in the scheme.

Councillor James McAsh, Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency, Clean Air and Streets, said: “This is a great new app that will incentivise us all to walk, cycle or use public transport more. It’s just one of a number of things we’re doing through our ambitious Streets for People strategy which sets out how we will make Southwark a clean, green and safe borough. We’re improving walking and cycling routes to schools; creating more opportunities to walk and cycle; investing in our community spaces making them safer, greener and more pleasant environments.”

Anyone who signs up by the end of August can opt into the draw to win a folding electric bike or £100. There are also daily prize draws in July to win extra points.

You can download the app here https://southwark.betterpoints.uk/

BetterPoints has been running in other parts of the country including Brighton, where last year users replaced 622,000 car trips and saved 392 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions, whilst saving money and getting lots of exercise.

Renfrewshire rewards

Renfrewshire Council is one of many other councils across the UK utilising BetterPoints. The Scottish county’s Not Far? Leave the Car campaign encourages local people to use the BetterPoints app, with participants earning a ‘BetterPoint’ for each minute of walking, wheeling or cycling – up to 60 a day – and they can collect 15 points for up to four public transport journeys a day. These points can be exchanged for Renfrewshire Gift Cards which can be spent at more than 100 local businesses, used at participating local cafes, or donated to the ACCORD and St Vincent’s Hospices.

More than 300,000 sustainable journeys were recorded between March 2022 and April 2023. Of these, approximately 238,000 – more than 70% – replaced a journey that would otherwise have been made by someone in a car on their own.

This equates to saving approximately 79 tonnes of CO2 emissions and is a big boost to the council’s campaign to be net zero by 2030.

Councillor Michelle Campbell, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “This campaign has been hugely successful in supporting people to leave the car at home … a great step forward as we aim to reduce our carbon emissions.”

Not Far? Leave the Car has been funded by the Scottish Government’s Smarter Choices, Smarter Places fund.